Page 26 - THE Journal, June/July 2017
P. 26

Linnette Attai
Making the Commitment to Student Data Privacy
Building a lasting trust will require actionable policies and practices that lay out the expectations for bringing technology into a school system and the behavior around student data.
HE 21ST CENTURY, technology-enabled classroom offers both opportuni- ties and a variety of challenges, including ensuring the privacy and security of student data. The days of storing student information on paper files have shifted
to data management on the network, in the cloud and on devices. With that, commu- nity stakeholders have raised concerns and questions have risen about where the data goes, who has access to it, how it may be used, and how it can be protected from prying eyes.
These questions have led to the drafting of over 500 student data privacy bills across the states in the last three years. However, regulatory action alone will not move the needle on the special relationship between schools and their communities.
Now, more than ever, every school system must be poised to adequately address these questions to build a lasting trust with the parents.
The work starts with a deep under- standing of the legal requirements; of the responsibilities that come with collecting, storing and handling student data; and of the complexities that arise when the work is done through connected technologies. That knowledge needs to be translated into enforceable, actionable policies and prac- tices that guide all school system employees through their work, laying out the expecta- tions for bringing technology into a school system and the behavior around student
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